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Narich specialises in creating simple solutions for sometimes complex problems using non destructive light and spectral techniques

Friday, September 27, 2013

SpectraMagic NX - Why the Dongle - Can it Network - I can't Connect to Windows

Konica Minolta's brilliant Quality Assurance and Analysis software is easy to use, reliable and affordable with over a 100 local implementations. Its Windows based and follows Windows look and feel, so its fairly easy to learn. Over the years, three questions come up quite often, and we answer them here:

Why do we use a USB Protection Dongle instead of a software licence?

SpectraMagic NX is essentially a free download from Konica Minolta. (See this link) (http://www.konicaminolta.eu/en/measuring-instruments/products/colour-measurement/software/spectramagic-nx/introduction.html)

To enable the software use with an Instrument, and to activate all the features, a protection Dongle (Hasp) has to be purchased. It is therefore intended that wherever you wish to use an instrument, the Protection Dongle must be present as well. You are free to load the software on multiple computers, but Instrument activity will only take place when the dongle is on that same computer. The advantage of the dongle system is that you do not require to pay annual licence fees or top-ups to keep your software  as long as you have a dongle you can download the latest version free.

Can I Network the software?
the DATA from your readings is stored in any windows format, and can be on a Network, while the Dongle feature is NOT Networkable, it must be local. If you have ONE Dongle, you can Connect ONE instrument per PC with a dongle, but you are free to move that instrument to multiple sites, along with the dongle.

What happens if the Dongle is lost or stolen?

Treat the Dongle the same as an Instrument. In fact keep them together. USB devices tend to go missing when IT decides to upgrade or change your PC and they are blissfully unaware of the value of the Dongle. Insure it and care for it as you would the Instrument.

In the event of a genuine theft or loss a new dongle can be purchased at a reduced price if accompanied by a Police Affidavit to that effect. The reduction in price is however not more than 30%

If you loose a dongle, you DO NOT loose the data.

I Cant Connect My Instrument to NX?

As long as the instrument is powered ON and switched to REMOTE, the cable is not damaged
and it is inserted into a working local USB port, only one other issue causes failure to connect, and that is the incorrect COM PORT allocation. Windows dynamically allocates port numbers and sometimes if an instrument is reconnected via a USB port or port adaptor (Usb to 232) a new port number can result.

To rectify this:

Open Device Manager
Select the device and see which port number has been allocated
On the NX Menu select Instrument / Communication Setup
select the port number as per the device manager allocation
Press OK (All the other settings are by default correct)
Press the blue Connect button
Either the calibration icon will show, or the software will ask you to now calibrate the instrument

When in doubt NX has interactive help (The blue I button) and a PDF Format Manual which you can word search for the correct answer.